WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
ADMINISTRATIVE PANEL DECISION
Aktiebolaget Electrolux v. Ali Jabbari
Case No. DIR2014-0005
1. The Parties
The Complainant is Aktiebolaget Electrolux of Stockholm, Sweden, represented by CSC Digital Brand Services AB of Stockholm, Sweden.
The Respondent is Ali Jabbari of Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
2. The Domain Name And Registrar
The disputed domain name <aegservice.ir> is registered with IRNIC.
3. Procedural History
The Complaint was filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the "Center") on August 21, 2014. On August 21, 2014, the Center transmitted by email to IRNIC a request for registrar verification in connection with the disputed domain name. On August 23, 2014, IRNIC transmitted by email to the Center its verification response confirming that the Respondent is listed as the registrant and providing the contact details. Hard copies of the Complaint were received by the Center on September 3, 2014.
The Center verified that the Complaint satisfied the formal requirements of the .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy" or "irDRP"), the Rules for .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Rules"), and the WIPO Supplemental Rules for .ir Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Supplemental Rules").
In accordance with the Rules, paragraphs 2(a) and 4(a), the Center formally notified the Respondent of the Complaint, and the proceedings commenced on September 3, 2014. In accordance with the Rules, paragraph 5(a), the due date for Response was September 23, 2014. No Response was received by the Center. Accordingly, the Center notified the Respondent default on September 24, 2014.
The Center appointed Marilena Comanescu as the sole panelist in this matter on October 9, 2014. The Panel finds that it was properly constituted. The Panel has submitted the Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence, as required by the Center to ensure compliance with the Rules, paragraph 7.
4. Factual Background
The Complainant is a Swedish joint stock company founded in 1901, being one of the world largest producers of home and professional appliances and equipment for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor use. According to the Complainant's assertions, AB Electrolux is selling more than 50 million products to customers in 150 countries every year. Complainant's trademark portfolio includes marks such as AEG, ELECTROLUX and ZANUSSI.
The Complainant holds numerous worldwide trademark registrations for AEG, including in Iran, such as the Trademark Registration no. 7944 filed on October 30, 1950 and protected for goods in classes 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 19.
Also, the Complainant operates numerous websites for or containing the AEG trademark including "www.aeg.com", "www.aeg-service.de" and "www.aeg.asia".
The disputed domain name <aegservice.ir> was registered on February 9, 2014 and, at the time of filing the Complaint, it was used for a website offering repair services for AEG branded products, whereas, according to its allegations, the Complainant has its own network of repair and support services and Respondent is not part of such network. Further, the webpage corresponding to the disputed domain name was displaying, along with Complainant's known marks and logos for AEG, ELECTROLUX and ZANUSSI, trademarks and logos of third parties, Complainant's competitors.
5. Parties' Contentions
The Complainant contends that the disputed domain name is confusingly similar to its trademark AEG, that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name and that the Respondent registered or uses the disputed domain name in bad faith.
The Respondent did not reply to the Complainant's contentions.
6. Discussion and Findings
In view of the default and the absence of any reply to the Complaint by the Respondent, the discussion and findings will be based upon the contentions in the Complaint and any reasonable position that can be attributable to the Respondent. Under paragraph 4(a) of the Policy, a complainant can only succeed in an administrative proceeding under the Policy if the following circumstances are met:
(i) the disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which complainant has rights; and
(ii) respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name; and
(iii) the disputed domain name has been registered or is being used in bad faith1.
A. Identical or Confusingly Similar
The Complainant holds numerous worldwide trademark registrations for the AEG trademark. The disputed domain name <aegservice.ir> includes the Complainant's known trademark and the generic term "service". This Panel agrees with previous UDRP panels2, that the addition of merely generic, descriptive terms to a trademark in a domain name would normally be insufficient in itself to avoid a finding of confusing similarity under the first element.
Given the above, the Panel finds that the disputed domain name <aegservice.ir> is confusingly similar to the Complainant's trademark AEG.
B. Rights or Legitimate Interests
The Complainant asserts that it has given no license or other authorization to use its trademark to the Respondent, that the Respondent is not an authorized dealer of the Complainant's products and has never had a business relationship with the Complainant. According to Complainant's searches, the Respondent holds no registered trademark or trade name corresponding to the disputed domain name.
In line with the previous UDRP decisions, the Panel accepts that the Complainant has provided a prima facie case of the Respondent's lack of rights or legitimate interests in relation to the disputed domain name, and the burden of production shifts to the Respondent.
The Respondent chose neither to challenge the Complainant's allegations in the present Complaint, nor to respond to Complainant's cease and desist letter sent prior to commencing these proceedings. There is no evidence before the Panel to support the contrary, and therefore the Panel accepts these arguments as facts.
Consequently, the Panel finds that the Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name <aegservice.ir>.
C. Registered or Used in Bad Faith
The disputed domain name was created in 2014 and incorporates the Complainant's trademark used and registered for decades in many countries worldwide.
Further, the disputed domain name resolves to a webpage displaying several trademarks and logos of the Complainant, without its consent, as well as trademarks of Complainant's competitors.
Given that the disputed domain name incorporates the Complainant's widely known trademark and the website operated under the disputed domain name displays the Complainant's trademarks and logos, in this Panel's view, the Respondent intended to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users accessing the website corresponding to the disputed domain name <aegservice.ir> by confusing them into believing that it is a website held, controlled by, or somehow affiliated or related to the Complainant. Such facts constitute bad faith under paragraph 4(b)(iv) of the Policy.
Further, the Respondent chose not to participate in these proceedings and has not contested any of the allegations made by the Complainant, and did not provide any evidence whatsoever of any legitimate noncommercial, or fair use of the disputed domain name, without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or tarnish the Complainant's trademark. Such passive attitude of the Respondent can be considered further evidence of bad faith. See also Telstra Corporation Limited v. Nuclear Marshmallows, WIPO Case No. D2000-0003; Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba v. Shan Computers, WIPO Case No. D2000-0325; Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v. (This Domain is For Sale) Joshuathan Investments, Inc., WIPO Case No. D2002-0787.
In light of the above, the Panel finds that the Respondent registered and is using the disputed domain name <aegservice.ir> in bad faith, even if it was sufficient in this case to establish one or the other.
For the foregoing reasons, in accordance with paragraphs 4(i) of the Policy and 15 of the Rules, the Panel orders that the disputed domain name <aegservice.ir> be transferred to the Complainant.
Date: October 21, 2014
1 The difference between the IRDRP and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP") is that under the IRDRP it is sufficient to prove that either registration or subsequent use of the domain name by the registrant occurred in bad faith, whereas the UDRP requires the complainant to prove both elements.
2 See paragraph 1.9 of the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, Second Edition ("WIPO Overview 2.0"). Because the IRDRP shares similarities with the UDRP the Panel refers to previous UDRP precedent where appropriate.